Posted by: SandreS | January 27, 2016

Joy Helpers

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Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand (II Corinthians 1:24).

Paul, the apostle to the nations, was a joy-helper. He spent his life assisting others in their joy. Such an undertaking is divine. We also have the privilege of joining this Pauline ministry in our daily lives.

Paul starts by saying, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith,” or as the Concordant Version reads, “Not that we are lording it over your faith.” If anyone had the authority to lord over another’s faith, surely it would have been Paul, the apostle; but not even he assumed that right. He was not the Grantor of faith.

The beginning of divine joy is found in freedom from domination in the arena of faith: freedom from being manipulated, pressured and coerced into someone else’s own personal belief system. We are the helpers of others’ joy by assisting them in their freedom from religious faith-domination.

To be a joy-helper we must allow others the freedom to follow their own heart of faith before God. In Romans 14, Paul taught that believers with different understandings and practices (even if they were weak in the faith) could live their lives in honor to the Lord. This doesn’t mean that we could always walk, or cooperate, with others in all things; but it does mean that we can support and encourage others to be faithful to the Lord based on the understanding that God has given to them.

Helping others in their freedom from faith-manipulation, encouraging them in the freedom to follow their own hearts wherever God may lead them, will enable us to be joy-helpers – “for by faith we stand.”

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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